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Predicting Recurrences in Stage I Lung Cancers

The American Cancer Association estimates that more than 158,000 men and women die from lung cancer each year. A total of more than 220,000 new cases are also diagnosed annually. As the leading cancer killer among both men and women, this disease has a particular track record for being a deadly one.

Even so, people who are diagnosed and aggressively treated during lung cancer’s earliest stages do have a higher rate of survival. Oftentimes, the disease can be eradicated effectively should treatment occur swiftly in the stage I range. This is, however, not always the case. In fact, researchers say a particular type of stage I tumor may enable doctors to more readily predict recurrence. The findings could lead to better treatment for those at risk for potentially deadly recurrence.

The type of stage I lung tumor that has a much higher recurrence incident rate, researchers say, is a solid-predominant tumor. To arrive at the findings, researchers at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center tracked 1,120 patients with stage I lung cancer. About 17 percent or 188 patients experienced recurrence, researchers found. Patients with solid predominant tumors tended to have earlier recurrences than those with non-solid tumors. They also had more multisite recurrences.

The findings, researchers say, indicate a need to investigate the use of adjuvant therapy following surgery for patients with solid predominate lung cancer. The findings, researchers say, indicate the successful surgery may not be enough to halt the spread or development of cancer when tumors of this type present. Researchers also say careful monitoring should occur with these patients following initial treatment.

People who are diagnosed with lung cancer – in any stage – are urged to discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Those who are at risk for the disease, such as heavy, long-term smokers, are also urged to discuss this potential condition with their doctors. Early detection is critical for increasing survivability chances.

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